28 February 2011

MEMORY, Part 6


This is the final segment of the 6-part 'Memory' song cycle (lyrics / vocals by Céleigh Chapman and mandolin played by Jake Monaco). I must confess that this is my favorite of them. The lyrics are the most poignant of the six parts, and the music is probably the most emotionally ambiguous I've ever written.

Went a little lighter than my previous entries in this memory series. I also work very quickly. Pretty much just popped a shot off and converted it, and am loading it up now. I am tired. It's late and I'm in the process of moving. March here we come.

27 February 2011



This is the metal catalyst that converts the 3% hydrogen peroxide in my contact lens solution into saline. Without it the peroxide would do a pretty good job of oxidizing my eyeballs. Ouch.
Unfortunately, not every aspect of life comes with a convenient catalyst, sitting there, driving reactions, never being used up itself. How nice that would be. Today is dedicated to the times in my memory that I hesitated, never sure of what to do in a given situation, praying that if I only had a catalyst to drive progress forward, to bail me out from having to take the first step, I'd be fine. This is a great way to never get anything done. Many worthwhile things have big barriers to overcome, ones that we ourselves have to summon the energy and courage to overcome, even without a catalyst in sight. It seems this is a lesson I will continue to learn even into adulthood.

Today's post began entirely as Andy's idea and, despite the graveness of his own thoughts on the subject, I couldn't help but take a slightly humorous approach to it. Basically the piece of music is like a Romantic piano concerto (leaping off from yesterday's 19th Century references), where we've somehow gotten stuck in the introduction. No actual music seems to come in at any point.

But my music-humor aside, like Andy I've had many instances where I seemed to stand in place, frozen and needing something to shove me forward. One particular example, three years of living across the country from my wife, seemed to drag me emotionally through the mud in every way imaginable. Yet, that lack of catalyst (and hence my lack of proactive problem solving), somehow sewed the seeds for a far stronger marriage and today I wouldn't trade one day of those three years. So, I suppose, sometimes that lack of catalyst is precisely what we need, impossible as it may be at the time to recognize it.

26 February 2011



Sometimes you just have to make room for the future. A little spring cleaning so to speak, when old memories may prevent you from growing, maturing, and progressing. I'm not saying this in a cold way, if we erased our memories, what would we learn? I'm just saying that the buildings they occupy in our mind can crowd the skyline a little too much if we spend our time attempting to relive the past, and then you tend to run low on real estate for the present/future.

I think basically everything Andy has said, both in writing and visually, can be said of today's music and my philosophy in general. Progress and evolution must always continue forward, and we must therefore be constantly re-evaluating that which we wish to assimilate versus that which we should discard. No principle or belief should be above this review process.

25 February 2011



This was a gift us grandsons received at my grandparents 50th wedding anniversary in 1996. It is a simple poem, but, without fail, reading it brings a smile to my face and the trace of a tear to my eye. It is one of the things that makes me extremely proud to be a Berglund.

This is the first of (eventually) more elaborate explorations of my German heritage. For the moment, rather than address my family's rather complex and dark history with Germany, I thought it nice to just have a quiet tribute. The 'Deutschlandlied' is here performed on solo trumpet by the very talented composer/arranger Eric Jasper.

24 February 2011



Today is a classic example of Andy and I discussing a concept, then each independently creating our vision of it, only to return with results which are remarkably corollary. The idea here is 'first love,' in the sense of playground love. Childhood love. The type that seems searingly and exhaustingly powerful, meant to endure the ages ... until tomorrow. It's a form of pure innocence. The music represents the sort of scherzo that young love is, all twisted up with anxieties and nervousness (and not without some obligato oddness).

I'm talking that nervous, dig your foot into the ground to try to abate the feeling, starry eyed, heart pounding, sweaty, time stopping, dizzy, spinning, wanting to run away, no place you'd rather be crush. I was a little bashful. I probably even played with my feet. The good news is that those feelings are almost exactly the same as an adult.

Shoes and "first love" also might mean a little something to Austin.

Strobist: LP120 @28mm, 1/4 power through the good ol' 43" Westcott shoot-through umbrella against a white seamless paper background.

23 February 2011



...is far from over.
I always forget how quickly outside of Denver you hit the Great Plains. Head east for 30 minutes and it looks like the edge of civilization. This photo was taken at that edge.

I promise to stop with these piano miniatures soon! But for the moment I felt a companion piece to "Childhood" from the post two days ago was needed. "My Heyday" as Andy titled the photo, had my mind in the same sort of place that "Childhood" did, despite the completely different subject matter of the photos. So I (perhaps awkwardly) tried to merge the two with this plaintive and subtle, childish piano solo (with just a slight touch of hay-inspired Americana wistfulness).

22 February 2011

MEMORY, Part 5


I absolutely love the sound of Céleigh's voice here. Pure, but not childlike. There's a subtle darkness that's also in her lyrics. The mandolin (again, played by Jake Monaco), has almost no presence here. Just a moment alone, lost in a thought.

My lovely hand model holding the possessed statue head. It's glowing eyes searing yours, suffocating you in memory... or something like that. Just trying to go with the lyrics.